PC vendors curb expectations for Windows 8 sales hike

Computer sellers have scaled back their expectations of the sales pop they'll get from Windows 8 this year, an analyst said recently.

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets said that his checks of Asian computer manufacturers -- the relatively unknown companies that build desktops and notebooks for the likes of Hewlett-Packard and Dell -- found that orders from PC vendors climbed just 2% from September to October, less than half the average 5% monthly increase of the past seven years.

That figure is weaker than his firm's initial estimate "and speaks to the continued challenges in the PC market," White said.

PC sellers had hoped that the release of Windows 8 would kick-start sales, but "the Windows 8 ramp is much lower than expected a few months ago," White said. He explained that the difference is due partly to macro-economic weaknesses and partly to the fact that tablets are eating into PC sales.

Paul Thurrott, a Windows blogger and book author, recently reported that unnamed sources within Microsoft had said that Windows 8 sales have been below company projections. However, other Microsoft watchers have cautioned that it's too early to conclude that sales of Windows 8, and its associated hardware, are sluggish.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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